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Runic Dictionary

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Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir)

10th century; volume 1; ed. Diana Whaley;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 2

The biography of Stefnir Þorgilsson (Stefnir) is narrated in Kristni saga (Kristni, ÍF 15, II, 15-17) and in ÓT and ÓTOdd, from which a Stefnis þáttr Þorgilssonar (Stefn) can be assembled (ÍF 15, I, clxxxi-clxxxiv, II, 103-10; cf. Flat 1860-8, I, 285 for a section about Stefnir headed þáttr). Stefnir was the son of Þorgils Eilífsson, son of Helgi bjóla (meaning uncertain), from Kjalarnes, western Iceland. The name Stefnir is not certainly recorded in Norway or Iceland until the fourteenth century, and where it occurs in the kings’ sagas it appears to be an Icelandicised form of the name Stephen, borne by Englishmen (so ÍF 15, II, 103 n. 1). Stefnir travelled with Þorvaldr víðfǫrli ‘Wide-travelling’ Koðránsson (Þvíðf). He was converted to Christianity and sent by King Óláfr Tryggvason to evangelise his homeland c. 996, but met with shipwreck and a hostile reception (see Anon (ÓT) 1), was prosecuted for his Christianity by his kinsmen and sentenced to lesser outlawry; he then returned to Óláfr. The two stanzas below are attributed to Stefnir during a period of disconsolate wandering after the king’s death c. 1000, and are of very different kinds. Stefnir and his slander of someone identified as Sigvaldi jarl (Lv 1) were regarded as the fabrication of Gunnlaugr Leifsson (d. c. 1218/9) by Baetke (1970, and cf. Gottskálk Þór Jensson 2006, 52-3), but see the refutation by Andersson (2003, 21-5).

Lausavísur — Stefnir LvI

Diana Whaley 2012, ‘ Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 447. <> (accessed 30 June 2022)

stanzas:  1   2 

Skj: Stefnir Þórgilsson: Lausavísur (AI, 153-154, BI, 146)

SkP info: I, 448

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Stefnir Lv 1I

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur 1’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 448.

Munkat nefna,         — nær munk stefna:
niðrbjúgt es nef         á níðingi —
þanns Svein konung         sveik ór landi
ok Tryggva son         á tálar dró.

Munkat nefna, þanns sveik Svein konung ór landi ok dró {son Tryggva} á tálar; munk stefna nær: nef á níðingi es niðrbjúgt.

I will not name the one who tricked King Sveinn from his realm and drew {the son of Tryggvi} [= Óláfr] into a trap; I will aim close: the nose on the traitor is down-curved.

texts: Flat 365, Fsk 112, Kristni 12, ÓT 206, ÓTOdd 4

editions: Skj Stefnir Þórgilsson: Lausavísur 1 (AI, 153-4; BI, 146); Skald I, 80ÓTOdd 1932, 194-5, ÍF 25, 308, 310; Fsk 1902-3, 122 (ch. 22), ÍF 29, 151 (ch. 24); Kristni 1905, 44, ÍF 15, II, 38 (ch. 13); ÓT 1958-2000, II, 305 (ch. 263), ÍF 15, II, 108, Flat 1860-8, I, 500.


AM 310 4° (310) 80, 34 - 80, 36 (ÓTOdd)  transcr.  image  
Holm perg 18 4° (Holm18) 50v, 29 - 50v, 30 (ÓTOdd)  image  
OsloUB 371 folx (FskBx) 36v, 29 - 37r, 4 (Fsk)  image  
AM 301 4°x (301x) 49r, 23 - 49v, 3 (Fsk)  
AM 303 4°x (FskAx) 133, 15 - 133, 20 (Fsk)  image  
AM 371 4° (Hb) 18v, 10 - 18v, 11 (Kristni)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 61 fol (61) 70vb, 1 - 70vb, 3 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 53 fol (53) 67rb, 38 - 67rb, 40 (ÓT)  transcr.  image  
AM 54 fol (54) 69ra, 7 - 69ra, 7 (ÓT)  image  
Holm perg 1 fol (Bb) 104va, 32 - 104va, 34 (ÓT)  image  
AM 62 fol (62) 50rb, 13 - 50rb, 13 (ÓT)  image  image  
GKS 1005 fol (Flat) 66vb, 13 - 66vb, 13 (ÓT)  image  image  image  
AM 761 b 4°x (761bx) 534v, 6 - 534v, 13  image  
AM 51 folx (51x) 33v, 3 - 33v, 7 (Fsk)  image  
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